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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Shapes of cells spreading on fibronectin: measurement of the stellation of BHK21 cells induced by raising cyclic AMP, and of its reversal by serum and lysophosphatidic acid.

In common with many other animal cells in culture, BHK21, CHO and NIH-3T3 cells adopt bizarre stellate or arborized shapes when exposed, in the absence of serum, to agents which increase cytoplasmic cyclic AMP (cAMP). Dibutyryl cAMP, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, 5'-deoxy-5'-methylthioadenosine, cholera toxin and the invasive adenylate cyclase from Bordetella pertussis all induce similar shapes. Time lapse video recording of BHK21 cells spreading on fibronectin shows that stellate shapes are generated by outgrowth of neurite-like processes led by small fans of ruffling membrane. These structures stain strongly for F actin, and their outgrowth is completely inhibited by cytochalasin D. Thus if stellation is caused by microfilament depletion, this must be selective for subsets of microfilaments. We have quantified the shape changes of BHK21 cells using the parameter dispersion. They are prevented by low concentrations (1% by volume and below) of bovine sera. The inhibitory component of foetal bovine serum acts humorally, behaves as a macromolecule and is itself inhibited by suramin, but platelet-derived growth factor, insulin, vasopressin and bradykinin are inactive. The inhibitory activity of serum may be due to phospholipids, since it can be replaced by lysophosphatidic acid in the presence of serum albumin.[1]


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